Social media gets you closer to customers for less money

At Cisco, everyone’s a publisher—and a videographer.

At Cisco, everyone’s a publisher—and a videographer

The amazing thing about social media, says Jeanette Gibson, director of global social media for Cisco Systems, is that you get so much more bang for fewer bucks. Gibson, speaking at Ragan’s Social Media Summit last week in San Jose, explained that social media has transformed the way the company launches products, connects with customers—indeed, it’s changed interactions with everyone from chairman and CEO John Chambers on down.

Take product launches: “We saved $250,000 on one launch simply by using our blogs,” Gibson said. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars on costly events and video news releases, not to mention travel expenses for shuttling execs all over the world, Cisco uses blogs, Twitter feeds and video to spread the word. The difference, says Gibson, is that communications about launches now happen over a longer time period, instead of all at once.

“We’ve gone from these big events to having interactions and engagements with customers over time,” Gibson said. “We’re reaching more customers and spending less money.”

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